Monsoon season is, as you can imagine, in full force here in Jerome, making it of course the perfect rosé weather. We’re going to take a jaunt down to Sonoita which… oddly enough is largely bereft of estate-made rosé wines. I can only think of two off hand that are made with 100% Sonoita fruit at this point in time; Callaghan Vineyards’ (which we’re drinking today), and the new one from Lightning Ridge (which we will be drinking later, and the name of which escapes me entirely right now.) As many of you know, Kent Callaghan has been making wines longer than almost everyone else in Sonoita, and his wines have an excellent track record; I’ve even reviewed a few here.
I should also know there is an upcoming podcast with this vintage with Gary, as a sequel of sorts to the one we did with the Traveler from Grand Canyon Winery. I digress. Onto the wine!
I seem to have a penchant for photographing rose with rainbows for some reason.
The Wine: The Sonoita Dry Rosé is made from 100% Grenache. The fruit came from Sonoita as well, from Callaghan’s estate vineyards. I am unclear on further details, (A message to Mr. Callaghan is sent, pending a reply) but I am guessing it was steel-fermented, and because of the dark color for a Rosé, I am also guessing it is a maceration-made one; left on the skins for a few days. The wine itself is a bright salmon-copper pink in color. It’s also light, since it’s only 12% alcohol.
The Nose: This rosé is not too atypical compared to similar Grenache-themed wines of this style coming from Willcox. Rich floral notes of gardenia and fennel intermingle with watermelon and strawberry, and a hint of lychee and cinnamon. The tangerine/citrus note that to me indicates a wine is from the Sonoita AVA is also present on the nose.
The Palate: This wine is incredibly juicy. It’s reminiscent of biting into a ripe watermelon covered with raspberry and pomegranate syrup, with just a slight bit of lemon zest and tangerine. Notes of watermelon, limestone, sage, rainwater, and a slight bit of sage permeates the finish of this rosé, which lasts for about 15 seconds. It is entirely dry, with no residual sugar, but has a really nice acidity that WOULD allow it to paired with sweet foods.
Pairing: I drank this wine on my porch watching the monsoon eating the last bit of Pecan Pie (made from Willcox-grown pecans, by the way), and it worked quite well. I could also see this wine pairing well with a juicy cheeseburger, right off the grill, with a little bit of hatch chili thrown on. It would also work well with a hummus and veggie plate. Lastly, I would highly recommend this rosé for any picnic, since this wine is a screwtop.
Impressions: By now it should be pretty clear that I love just about every rosé I come across, with some exceptions (these exceptions have not appeared on the blog; they have been mostly Californian and Italian so far). Again, this demonstrates what I feel is largely there are some exceptions.) the best use of Grenache in Arizona. It’s a great dry rosé, with a citrus zing that makes it all the more surprising and refreshing.
Unlike most Grenaches, I get a distinct feminine vibe from this wine. Feisty and blunt, this is a fiery red-head with sleeve and back tattoos that has a tendency to speak her mind. While she’s heavily involved in the SCA, her dayjob is, strangely, an accountant. Seeing her in the office in a suit during the weekday, you have no idea that she spends her weekends unwinding by hitting strangers over the head with rattan and duct-tape halberds.